Offensive lineman visiting BYU this weekend

Chongo Kondolo

BYU coaches are in the hunt for some top talent to fill and solidify the ranks along the offensive line. One potential prospect will be visiting BYU's campus this weekend.

Originally from Creekview High School located right outside of Dallas, Chongo Kondolo has played the last two years of football at Fresno City College.

"The one thing that I do well is I play hard and give all of my effort," said Kondolo, a 6-foot-3-inch, 280-pound offensive tackle. "You can't really go wrong by doing that play with the technique that I've been coached to use. So, I try and just play to the whistle and use my technique."

Fresno City College went 8-3 last season but lost to No. 3 Butte College in the State City Bowl back in November. Over the season, Kondolo gained a nasty reputation of being a physical player on the field.

"Yeah, it's kind of funny," he said. "I try and make defensive players angry. I just play hard and they really don't like me. It's really just a mindset and you have to practice that way. When you practice hard and nasty like that, you just bring that mindset to the game."

He admitted with a laugh that he's even made a few of his own teammates upset from time to time.

"I try not to do that but, yeah, it happens. A lot of people don't like it when you go that hard in practice like that, but our team goes hard in practice."

Kondolo was first offered a scholarship by BYU back on November 3.

"Coach Weber came and watched one of my games and he had been recruiting me three weeks before that and decided to come to one of our games during BYU's bye week. I talked to Coach Mendenhall after that and he made it official.

"It was good to talk to Coach Mendenhall because I was just talking to Coach Weber before that. It was nice and he gave me some advice on the recruiting process. He let me know that the offer was official and that he wanted me on the team. He wanted me to come out on a visit. He said the offer was contingent on a visit, so it was really nice to talk to BYU's head coach."

It was his tough, physical play that caught the eye of BYU coaches. Kondolo will now take an official visit to BYU on Friday.

"Yeah, I'm excited to see what Provo has to offer me," Kondolo said. "I've been told, and coaches were telling me, that BYU is a different place, and even the coaches at BYU were telling me that, so I'm just excited. I'm excited to see what life will be like and to see if I would fit into it. I just want to see how the team interacts with each other and with the coaches. I just want to see the facilities and see exactly what BYU has to offer.

"I heard from most people about how nice the people are in Provo," said Kondolo. "I've heard that the environment is really different. I want to make sure that BYU has good academic help and support. I also want to see if there is a good team family aspect so I can fit it. I don't want to go to a place where I have to change in order to fit in. That's one of the most important things I'm looking for."

BYU has shown interest in Kondolo for more reasons than simply his physical style of play.

"My family is strong Christian," Kondolo said. "I grew up going to church and had strong beliefs in my house growing up. We were non-denominational Christian and so we always had that in our family."

Kondolo is attracted to BYU's environment.

"I like the structure there at BYU and that's why I want to go there and check it out," he said. "I think it will help me. I just feel like the honor code is something that I've lived and believed in. The environment will keep me less distracted and be a positive influence on me. If I get distracted, it would be because I wanted to be, and there are very few distractions in Provo. You have to really go out and look to be in the wrong crowd there."

Kondolo currently has four scholarship offers on the table.

"I went on a visit to Illinois last week, and that was my first offer," Kondolo said. "I liked it because they have very good academic help there. All the players know the coaches and their families. It's like a big family there. They just came off a bad season and they're trying to turn things around. They don't want to have another season like that and they're ready to compete.

"BYU offered me right after that, and so that was good. I picked up Maryland and Syracuse offers and I have a visit set to Maryland. That will be in January. I'm going to wait until January so I can see who is interested in me to fill that last spot. I have Colorado State and Nevada looking at me and I talk to those coaches all the time."

This weekend Kondolo will be looking for three things at BYU: a college with great academic help and structure to assist its student athletes, a place he can fit in at without any negative influences to change who he is, and a positive environment with players and coaches.

"That's what I'm looking for, and will look to find out when I get up to BYU," he said. "I guess we'll see, but I'm excited to get up there and check things out."

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